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Faces of Cedars-Sinai: Nurse Jennifer Ross

Meet Jennifer Ross! For the last 16 years, she's been a nurse in the Cedars-Sinai Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Cedars-Sinai. In her role, she cares for severely ill children. 

We sat down with the Los Angeles native to learn more about her position and how she manages her work.

What are your daily responsibilities?

Jennifer Ross: We take care of children needing to be in the PICU for a variety of reasons or conditions. We deal with patients who might be intubated or otherwise critically ill. We also help their parents, who are dealing with a really stressful situation.

What do you like most about your job?

JR: Our team. We're an 8-bed unit, so we're on the smaller side and we're a tight-knit staff. Most of us have worked together for years and we work well together. I also enjoy the critical thinking part of the job. Every day, you walk into something different. It's not repetitive. 

What made you want to be a nurse?

JR: Ever since junior high I wanted to be a nurse and I honestly can't remember why. My grandma and my aunt were nurses and I have cousins who are nurses. It's just something I was exposed to when I was younger and it's just something that was around when I was growing up. 

How do you manage the challenges of being in an intensive care unit?

JR: When I'm not at the hospital, I try not to think about work as much as possible. I also try to work hard, play hard—so I like to travel.

There's a group of us in the PICU that plans trips together. I also like to be outdoors as much as possible and enjoy hiking. I like being out in nature, but I also sometimes like binge-watching TV. 

What's the biggest hike you've done?

JR: I backpacked Kilimanjaro. I did a lot of training leading up to it. It's a 7-day trek up to the summit. We started our hike at midnight and then summited around 8 am. It was an amazing experience and it wasn't even all about the hiking. We went with a women's group and at the end of the trip we did an outing focusing on the women in the community there in Tanzania. 

PICU nurse Jennifer Ross atop Kilimanjaro.